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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol Ii Mon Khmer Siamese Chinese Families"

179

NORA,

The Noras are only found in the Sibsagar "District of Assam. It is roughly estimated
that there are, in all, about three hundred of them. All that I know about them will
be found in the general introduction to this group, on pp, 64i and ff. ante.

The Nora language is undoubtedly akin to Khamii, but is not exactly the same as
it, It possesses more points in common with the Northern Shan of Burma, and has also
a greater number of Burmese loan-words. The alphabet used is the same as that of
Ehamti, and hence differs from that of Burmese Shan,

I am indebted to the kindness of the Deputy Commissioner of Sibsagar for the
annexed specimens of Nora, consisting of a yersion of th^ Parable of the Prodigal Son
and of some riddles. They present few difficulties to any one who has studied the preced-
ing Khamtl specimens. It may be noted how very strictly the rules regarding the order
of the words are followed. The following are the main points an which the language of
the specimens differs from that of Khamtl.

IE the first place Nora possesses the vowel 0 ft ?, which exists in Ahom, Aitonia, and
Shan, but not, apparently, in Khamtl, It is sometimes interchanged with o>| & ^m
the word for ' servant' is written both o ft M# and 0\ Ma.

The sign ft also appears as a sort of contraction. Thus c$tf W (pronounced
Ky), with, is written d^ ft - In the first line of the specimen * get, is written J*;
why I do not know, unless ft indicates a tone. In that case, I cannot say what tone
it represents. In Khamtl ml has the < emphatic' tone. In Shan, the corresponding
word** has the  straightforward' tone. It is possibly a sign indicating the repetition
of the word. In Shan the corresponding sign, 8, indicates the ' emphatic' tone.

As usual in these Tai languages, the vocative particle is written in a peculiar way.
In Nora it is written *$*$, and is pronounced M.                             ,,.,./

When not compounded with another consonant OD is pronounced to * (as 
w nen noi       v                                                                  tenfl0 M

Ahom) and not as p (as m Khamtx).   Thu, the       "

affects the sound 01 me mv>n-D-------              -
h which the vowels following areaori. I^he *^^toted * by * repre-
.ounced ^ When , Mows, the  "^^it iAe ^L
senting, 1 suppose, the sound of. m hai 1                             ^            ^^^^
r. -rr r;@z*iti'j- *-
is pronounced off* in Burmese, and hence n m 
The letter O is sometimes la, hut more usually *t
rf-n- to the transliteratim, sometime, pronounced *. ^
The letter CAD is, according to t&e irausu
sometimes a.